{o} {開 When the gentleman from Massachusetts adopts and reiterates the old charge of weakness as resulting from slavery, I must be permitted to call for the proof of those blighting effects which he ascribes to its influence. I suspect that when the subject is closely examined, it will be found that there is not much force even in the plausible objection of the want of physical power in slaveholding states. The power of a country is compounded of its population and its wealth, and in modern times, where, from the very form and structure of society, by far the greater portion of the people must, even during the continuance of the most desolating wars, be employed in the cultivation of the soil and other peaceful pursuits, it may be well doubted whether slaveholding states, by reason of the superior value of their productions, are not able to maintain a number of Troops in the field fully equal to what could be supported by states with a larger white population, but not possessed of equal resources.

It is a popular error to suppose that, in any possible state of things the people of a country could ever he called out en masse, or that a half; or a third, or even a fifth part of the physical force of any country could ever be brought into the field. The difficulty is, not to procure men, but to provide the means of maintaining them; and in this view of the subject, it may be asked whether the Southern States are not a source of strength and power, and not of weakness, to the country whether they have not contributed, and are not now contributing, largely to the wealth and prosperity of every state in this Union.

{o} {開 From a statement which I hold in my hand, it appears that in ten years from1818 to 1827, inclusive-the whole amount of the domestic exports of the United States was $521,811,045 of which three articles, (the product of slave labor,) viz., cotton, rice, and tobacco, amounted to $339,203,232 -- equal to about two thirds of the whole. It is not true, as has been supposed, that the advantage of this labor is confined almost exclusively to the Southern States. Sir, I am thoroughly convinced that at this time, the states north of the Potomac actually derive greater profits from the labor of our slaves than we do ourselves. It appears from our public documents; that in seven years -- from 1821 to 1827, inclusive -- the six Southern States exported $190,337,281, and imported only $55,646,301. Now, the difference between these two sums (near $140,000,000) passed through the hands of the northern merchants, and enabled them to carry on their commercial operations with all the world. Such part of these goods as found its way back to our hands came charged with the duties, as well as the profits, of the merchant, the shipowner, and a host of others, who found employment in carrying on these immense exchanges; and for such part as was consumed at the north, we received in exchange northern manufactures, charged with an increased price, to cover all the taxes which the northern consumer had been compelled to pay on the imported article. It will be seen, therefore, at a glance, how much slave labor has contributed to the wealth and prosperity of the United States, and how largely our northern brethren have participated in the profits of that Labor.

{o} {開 Sir, on this subject I will quote an authority, which will, I doubt not, be considered by the senator from Massachusetts as entitled to high respect. It is from the great father of the "American System," honest Matthew Carey -- no great friend, it is true, at this time, to southern rights and southern interests, but not the worst authority on that account, on the point in question. Speaking of the relative importance to the Union of the SOUTHERN and the EASTERN STATES, Matthew Carey, in the sixth edition of his Olive Branch, (p. 278,) after exhibiting a number of statistical tables to show thedeclared superiority of the former, thus proceeds:--

Sir, I wish it to be distinctly understood that I do not adopt these sentiments as my own. I quote them to show that very different sentiments have prevailed in former times as to the weakness of the slaveholding states from those which now seem to have become fashionable in certain quarters.

{o} {開 I know it has been supposed by certain ill-informed persons, that the south exists only by the countenance and protection of the north. Sir, this is the idlest of all idle and ridiculous fancies that ever entered into the mind of man. In every, state of this Union, except one, the free white population actually preponderates; while in the British West India Islands, (where the average white population is less than ten per cent. of the whole,) the slaves are kept in entire subjection: it is preposterous to suppose that the Southern States could ever find the smallest difficulty in this respect

On this subject as in all others, we ask nothing of our northern brethren but to "let us alone." Leave us to the undisturbed management of our domestic concerns, and the direction of our own industry, and we will ask no more. Sir, all our difficulties on this subject have arisen from interference from abroad, which has disturbed, and may again disturb, our domestic tranquility just so far as to bring down punishment upon the heads of the unfortunate victims of a fanatical and mistaken humanity.

{o} {開 There is a spirit, which, like the father of evil, is constantly "walking to and fro about the earth, seeking whom it may devour:" it is the spirit of FALSE PHILANTHROPY. The persons whom it possesses do not indeed throw themselves into the flames, but they are employed in lighting up the torches of discord throughout the community. Their first principle of action is to leave their own affairs, and neglect their own duties, to regulate the affairs and duties of others. Theirs is the task to feed the hungry, and clothe the naked, of other lands, while they thrust the naked, famished, and shivering beggar from their own doors; to instruct the heathen while their own children want the bread of life. When this spirit infuses itself into the bosom of a statesman, (if one so possessed can be called a statesman,) it converts him at once into a visionary enthusiast. Then it is that he indulges in golden dreams of national greatness and prosperity. He discovers that "liberty is power," and not content with fat schemes of improvement at home, which it would bankrupt the treasure of the world to execute, he flies to foreign lands, to fulfil obligations to "the human race" by inculcating the principles of "political and religious liberty," and promoting the "general welfare" of the whole human race.

It is a spirit which has long been busy with the slaves of the south; and is even now displaying itself in vain efforts to drive the government from its wise policy in relation to the Indian . It is this spirit which has filled the Land with thousands of wild and visionary projects, which can have no effect but to waste the energies and dissipate the resources of the country. It is the spirit of which the aspiring politician dexterously avails himself, when, by inscribing on his banner the magical words LIBERTY and Philanthropy he draws to his support that Class of person) who are ready to bow down at the very name of their idols.

{o} {開 But, sir, whatever difference of opinion may exist as to the effect of slavery on national wealth and prosperity, if we may trust to experience, there can be no doubt that it has never yet produced any injurious effect on individual or national character. Look through the whole history of the country, from the commencement of the revolution down to the present hour; where are there to be found brighter examples of intellectual and moral greatness than have been exhibited by the sons of the south? From the FATHER OF HIS COUNTRYdown to the DISTINGUISHED CHIEFTAIN who has been elevated by a grateful people to the highest office in their gift, the interval is filled up by along line of orators, of statesmen, and of heroes. justly entitled to rank amongthe ornaments of their country, and the benefactors of mankind. Look at the"Old Dominion," great and magnanimous Virginia, "whose jewels are her sons." Is there any state in this Union which has contributed so much to the honor and welfare of the country ? Sir, I will yield the whole question -- I will acknowledge the fatal effects of slavery upon character, if any one can say, that for noble disinterestedness, ardent love of country, exalted virtue, and a pure and holy devotion to liberty, the people of the Southern States have ever been surpassed by any in the world.

I know, sir, that this devotion to liberty has sometimes been supposed to be at war with our institutions; but it is in some degree the result of those very institutions. Burke, the most philosophical of statesmen, as he was the most accomplished of orators, well understood the operation of this principle, in elevating the sentiments and exalting the principles of the people in slaveholding states I will conclude my remarks on this branch of the subject, by reading a few passages from his speech "on moving his resolutions for conciliation with the colonies ' the 22d of March,1775.

{o} {開 In the course of my former remarks, Mr. President, I took occasion to deprecate, as one of the greatest evils, the consolidation of this government. The gentleman takes alarm at the sound. "Consolidation," like the tariff grates upon his ear. He tells us, "we have heard much of late about consolidation; that it is the rallying word of all who are endeavoring to weaken the Union, by adding to the power of the states." But consolidation (says the gentleman) was the very object for which the Union was formed; and, in support of that opinion, he read a passage from the address of the president of the convention to Congress, which he assumes to be authority on his side of the question. But, sir, the gentleman is mistaken. The object of the framers of the constitution, as disclosed in that address, was not the consolidation of the government, but "the consolidation of the Union." It was not to draw power from the states, in order to transfer it to a great national government, but, in the language of the constitution itself, "to form a more perfect Union;" -- and by what means ? By "establishing justice, promoting domestic tranquillity, end securing the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity." his is the true reading of the Constitution. But, according, to the gentleman's reading, theobject of the constitution was, to consolidate the government, and the means would seem to be, the promotion of injustice, causing domestic discord, and depriving the states and the people "of the blessings of liberty" forever.

{o} {開 The gentleman boasts of belonging to the party of NATIONAL REPUBLICANs. National Republicans! A new name, sir, for a very old thing. The National Republicans of the present day were the Federalists of '98, who became Federal Republicans during the war of 1812, and were manufactured into National Republicans somewhere about the year 1825.

As a party, (by whatever name distinguished,) they have always been animated by the same principles, and have kept steadily in view a common object, the consolidation of the government. Sir, the party to which am proud of having belonged, from the very commencement of my political life to the present day, were the Democrats of '98, (Anarchists, Anti-Federalists, Revolutionists, I think they were sometimes called.) They assumed the name of Democratic Republicans in 1822, and have retained their name and principles up to the present hour. True to their political faith, they have always, as a party, been in favor of limitations of power; they have insisted that all powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved, and have been constantly struggling, as they now are, to preserve the rights of the states, and to prevent them from being drawn into the vortex, and swallowed up by one great consolidated government

Sir, any one acquainted with the history of parties in this country will recognize in the points now in dispute between the senator from Massachusetts and myself the very grounds which have, from the beginning, divided the two great parties in this country, and which (call these parties by what names you will, and amalgamate them as you may) will divide them forever.

The true distinction between those parties is laid down in a celebrated manifesto, issued by the convention of the Federalists of Massachusetts. assembled in Boston, in February, 1824, on the occasion of organizing a party opposition to the reelection of Governor Eustis. The gentleman will recognize this as "the canonical book of political scripture;" and it instructs us that, when the American colonies redeemed themselves from British bondage, and became so many independent nations they proposed to form a NATIONAL UNION, (not a Federal UNION, sir but a National Union.) Those who were in favor of union of the states in this form became known by the name of Federalists; those who wanted no union of thestates or disliked the proposed form of union, became known by the name of Anti-Federalists.

By means which need not be enumerated, the Anti-Federalists became (after the expiration of twelve years) our national rulers, and for a period of sixteen years,until the close of Mr. Madison's administration, in 1817, continued to exercise the exclusive direction of our public affairs.. Here, sir, is the true history of the origin, rise, and progress of the party of National Republicans, who date back to the very origin of the government, and who, then, as now, chose to consider the constitution as having created, not a Federal, but a National Union; who regarded "consolidation" as no evil, and who doubtless consider it "a consummation devoutly to be wished" to build up a great central government, "one and indivisible." Sir, there have existed, in every age and every country, two distinct orders of men -- the lovers of freedom, and the devoted advocates of power.

The same great leading principles, modified only by the peculiarities of manners, habits, and institutions, divided parties in the ancient republics, animated the whigs and tories of Great Britain, distinguished in our own times the liberals and ultras of France, and may be traced even in the bloody struggles of unhappy Spain. Sir, when the gallant Riego. who devoted himself, and all that he possessed, to the liberties of his country, was dragged to the scaffold, followed by the tears and lamentations of every lover of freedom throughout the world, he perished amid the deafening cries of "Long live the absolute king! "The people whom I represent, Mr. President, are the descendants of those who brought with them to this country, as the most precious of their possessions, "an ardent love of liberty;" and while that shall be preserved, they will always be found manfully struggling against the consolidation of the Government -- THE WORST OF EVILS.

{o} {開 The senator from Massachusetts, in alluding to the tariff, becomes quite facetious. He tells us that "he hears of nothing but tariff, tariff, tariff; and, if a word could be found to rhyme with it, be presumes it would be celebrated in verse, and set to music. "Sir, perhaps the gentleman, in mockery of our complaints, may be himself disposed to sing the praises of the tariff, in doggerel verse, to the tune of "Old Hundred." I am not at all surprised, however, at the aversion of the gentleman to the very name of tariff. I doubt not that it must always bring up some very unpleasant recollections to his mind.

If I am not greatly mistaken, the senator from Massachusetts was a leading actor at a great meeting got up in Boston, in 1820, against the tariff. It has generally been supposed that he drew up the resolutions adopted by that meeting, denouncing the tariff system as unequal; oppressive, and unjust, and if I am not much mistaken, denying its constitutionality. Certain it is, that the gentleman made a speech on that occasion in support of those resolutions,denouncing the system in no very measured terms; and, if my memory serves me, calling its constitutionality in question. I regret that I have not been able to lay my hands on those proceedings; but I have seen them, and cannot be mistaken in their character. At that time, sir, the senator from Massachusetts entertained the very sentiments in relation to the tariff which the south now entertains.

We next find the senator from Massachusetts expressing his opinion on the tariff, as a member of the House of Representatives from the city of Boston, in 1824. On that occasion, sir, the gentleman assumed a position which commanded the respect and admiration of his country. He stood forth the powerful and fearless champion of free trade. He met, in that conflict, the advocates of restriction and monopoly, and they "fled from before his face." With profound sagacity a fulness of knowledge, and a richness of illustration that have never been surpassed, he maintained and established the principle of commercial freedom, on a foundation never to be shaken. Great indeed was the victory achieved by the gentleman on that occasion; most striking the contrast between the clear, forcible, and convincing arguments by which he carried away the understandings of his hearers, and the narrow views and wretched sophistry of another distinguished orator, who may be truly said to have "held up his farthing candle to be sun."

Sir, the senator from Massachusetts, on that, the proudest day of his life like a mighty giant, bore away upon his shoulders the pillars of the temple of error and delusion, escaping himself unhurt, and ''leaving his adversaries overwhelmed in its ruins. Then it was that he erected to free trade a beautiful and enduring monument, and "inscribed the marble with his name.

"Mr. President, it is with pain and regret that I now go forward to the next great era in the political life of that gentleman, when he was found on this door, supporting advocating, and finally voting for the tariff of 1828 -- that "bill of abominations." By that act, sir, the senator from Massachusetts has destroyed the labors of his whole life, and given a wound to the cause of free trade never to be healed. Sir, when I recollect the position which that gentleman once occupied, and that which he now holds in public estimation, in relation to this subject, is not at all surprising that the tariff should be hateful to his ears. Sir, if I had erected to my own fame so proud a monument as that which the gentleman build up in 1824, and I could have been tempted to destroy it with my own hands, I should hate the voice that should ring "the accursed tariff" in my ears. I doubt not the gentleman feels very much, in relation to the tariff, as a certain knight did to "instinct," and with him would be disposed to exclaim, --

{o} {開 But, Mr. President, to be more serious; what are we of the south to think of what we have heard this day? The senator from Massachusetts tells us. that the tariff is not an eastern measure, and treats it as if the east had no interest in it. The senator from Missouri insists it is not a western measure, and that it has done no good to the west. The south comes in, and, in the most earnest manner, represents to you that this measure which we are told "is of no value to the east or the west," is "utterly destructive of our interests." We represent to you that it has spread ruin and devastation through the land and prostrated our hopes in the dust. We solemnly declare that we believe the system to be wholly unconstitutional, and a violation of the compact between the states and the Union, and our brethren turn a deaf ear to our complaints, and refuse to relieve us from a system "which not enriches them, but makes us poor indeed."

Good God ! Mr. President, has it come to this. Do gentlemen hold the feelings and wishes of their brethren at so cheap a rate, that they refuse to gratify them at so small a price? Do gentlemen value so lightly the peace and harmony of the country, that they will not yield a measure of this description to the affectionate entreaties and earnest remonstrances of their friends ? Do gentlemen estimate the value of the Union at so low a price, that they will not even make one effort to bind the states together with the cords of affections And has it come to this? Is this the spirit in which this government is to be administered? If so, let me tell gentlemen, the seeds of dissolution are already sown. and our children will reap the bitter fruit.

{o} {開 The honorable gentleman from Massachusetts, (Mr. Webster,) while he exonerates me personally from the charge, intimates that there is a party in the country who are looking to disunion. Sir, if the gentleman had stopped there, the accusation would have "passed by me like the idle wind, which I regard not." But when he goes on to give to his accusation "a local habitation and a name," by quoting the expression of a distinguished citizen of South Carolina, (Dr. Cooper,) "that it was time for the south to calculate the value of the Union," and in the language of the bitterest sarcasm, adds, "Surely then the Union cannot last longer than July, 1831," it is impossible to mistake either the allusion or the object of the gentleman.

Now, Mr. President, I call upon everyone who hears me to bear witness that this controversy is not of my seeking. The Senate will do me the justice to remember that, at the time this unprovoked and uncalled-for attack was made on the south, not one word bad been uttered by me in disparagement of New England; nor had I made the most distant allusion either to the senator from Massachusetts or the state he represents. But, sir, that gentleman has thought proper, for purposes best known to himself, to strike the south, through me, the most unworthy of her servants. He has crossed the border, he has invaded the state of South Carolina, is making war upon her citizens, and endeavoring to overthrow her principles and her institutions.

Sir, when the gentleman provokes me to such a conflict I meet him at the threshold; I will struggle, while I have life, for our altars and our firesides, and, if God gives me strength, I will drive back the invader discomfited. Nor shall I stop there. If the gentleman provokes the war, he shall have war. Sir, I will not stop at the border; I will carry the war into the enemy's territory, and not consent to lay down my arms until I have obtained "indemnity for the past and security for the future." It is with unfeigned reluctance, Mr. President, that I enter upon the performance of this part of my duty; I shrink aImost instinctively from a course, however necessary, which may have a tendency to excite sectional feelings and sectional jealousies. But, sir, the task has been forced upon me; and I proceed right onward to the performance of my duty. Be the consequences what they may, the responsibility is with those who have imposed upon me this necessity. The senator from Massachusetts has thought proper to cast the first stone; and if he shall find, according to a homely adage, "that he lives in a glass house," on his head be the consequences.

The gentleman has made a great flourish about his fidelity to Massachusetts. I shall make no professions of zeal for the interests and honor of South Carolina; of that my constituents shall judge. If there be one state in the Union, Mr. President, (and I say it not in a boastful spirit) -- that may challenge comparison with any other, for a uniform, zealous, ardent, and uncalculating devotion to the Union, that state is South Carolina. Sir, from the very commencement of the revolution up to this hour, there is no sacrifice, however great, she has not cheerfully made, no service she has ever hesitated to perform. She has adhered to you in your prosperity; but in your adversity she has clung to you with more than filial affection. No matter what was the condition of her domestic affairs, though deprived of her resources, divided by parties, or surrounded with difficulties, the call of the country has been to her as the voice of God. Domestic discord ceased at the sound; every man became at once reconciled to his brethren, and the sons of Carolina were all seen crowding, together to the temple, bringing their gifts to the
altar of their common country.

What, sir, was the conduct of the south during the revolution? Sir, I honor New England for her conduct in that glorious struggle. But great as is the praise which belongs to her, I think, at least, equal honor is due to the south. They espoused the quarrel of their brethren with a generous zeal, which did not suffer them to stop to calculate their interest in the dispute. Favorites of the mother country, possessed of neither ships nor seamen to create a commercial rivalship, they might have found in their situation a guaranty that their trade would be forever fostered and protected by Great Britain. But trampling on all considerations either of interest or of safety, they rushed into the conflict and, fighting for principle, perilled all, in the sacred cause of freedom. Never was there exhibited in the history of the world higher examples of noble daring, dreadful suffering, and heroic endurance, than by the whigs of Carolina during the revolution. The whole state, from the mountains to the sea, was overrun by an overwhelming force of the enemy. The fruits of industry perished on the spot where they were produced, or were consumed by the foe. The "plains of Carolina" drank up the most precious blood of her citizens. Black and smoking ruins marked the places which had been the habitations of her children. Driven from their homes into the gloomy and almost impenetrable swamps, even there the spirit of liberty survived, and South Carolina (sustained by the example of her Sumpters and her Marions) proved, by her conduct, that though her soil might be overrun, the spirit of her people was invincible.

But, sir, our country was soon called upon to engage in another revolutionary struggle, and that, too, was a struggle for principle. I mean the political revolution which dates back to'98, and which, if it had not been successfully achieved, would have left us none of the fruits of the revolution of '76 The revolution of '98 restored the constitution, rescued the liberty of the citizen from the grasp of these who were aiming at its life,
and in the emphatic language of Mr. Jefferson, " saved the constitution at its last gasp." And by whom was it achieved? By the south, sir, aided only by the democracy of the north and west.

{o} {開 I come now to the war of 1812 -- a war which, I well remember was called in derision (while its event was doubtful) the southern war, and sometimes the Carolina war; but which is now universally acknowledged to have done more for the honor and prosperity of the country than all other events in our history put together. What, sir, were the objects of that war? "Free trade and sailors' rights! " It was for the protection of northern shipping and New England seamen that the country flew to arms. What interest had the south in that contest? If they had sat down coldly to calculate the value of their interests involved in it, they would have found that they had every thing to lose, and nothing to gain.

But, sir, with that generous devotion to country so characteristic of the south, they only asked if the rights of any portion of their fellow-citizens had been invaded; and when told that northern ships and New England seamen had been arrested on the common highway of nations, they felt that the honor of their country was assailed; and acting on that exalted sentiment "which feels a of stain like a wound " they resolved to seek, in open war, for a redress of those injuries which it did not become freemen to endure. Sir, the whole south, animated as by a common impulse cordially united in declaring and promoting that war. South Carolina sent to your councils, as the advocates and supporters of that war, the noblest of her sons. How they fulfilled that trust let a grateful country tell. Not a measure was adopted, not a battle fought, not a victory won, which contributed, in any degree, to the success of that war, to which southern councils and southern valor did not largely contribute. Sir, since South Carolina is assailed, I must be suffered to speak it to her praise, that at the very moment when, in one quarter, we heard it solemnly proclaimed, " that it did not become a religious and moral people to rejoice at the victories of our army or our navy, " her legislature unanimously

South Carolina redeemed that pledge. She threw open her treasury to the government. She put at the absolute disposal of the officers of the United States all that she possessed -- her men, her money, and her arms. She appropriated half a million of dollars, on her own account, in defence of her maritime frontier, ordered a brigade of state troops to be raised, and when left to protect herself by her own means, never suffered the enemy to touch her soil, without being instantly driven off or captured.

Such, sir, was the conduct of the south--such the conduct of my own state in that dark hour " which tried men's souls."

{o} {開 When I look back and contemplate the spectacle exhibited at that time in another quarter of the Union -- when I think of the conduct of certain portions of New England, and remember the part which was acted on that memorable occasion by the political associates of the gentleman from Massachusetts --nay, when I follow that gentleman into the councils of the nation, and listen to his voice during the darkest period of the war, I am indeed astonished that he should venture to touch upon the topics which he has introduced into this debate. South Carolina reproached by Massachusetts! And from whom does the accusation come? Not from the democracy of New England; for they have been in times past, as they are now, the friends and allies of the south. No, sir, the accusation comes from that party whose acts,during the most trying and eventful period of our national history, were of such a character, that their own legislature, but a few years ago, actually blotted them out from their records, as a stain upon the honor of the country. But how can they ever be blotted out from the recollection of any one who had a heart to feel, a mind to comprehend. and a memory to retain. the events of that day! Sir.I shall not attempt to write the history of the party in New England to which I have alluded -- the war party in peace, and the peace party in war. That task I shall leave to some future biographer of Nathan Dane, and I doubt not it will be found quite easy to prove that the peace party of Masssehusetts were the only defenders of their country during their war, and actually achieved all our victories by land and sea. In the mean time, sir, and until that history shall be written, I propose, with the feeble and glimmering lights which I possess, to review the conduct of this party, in connection with the war, and the events which immediately preceded it.

It will be recollected, sir, that our great causes of quarrel with Great Britain were her depredations on northern commerce and the impressment of New England seamen. From every quarter we were called upon for protection. Importunate as the west is now represented to be on another subject, the importunity of the east on that oocasion was far greater I hold in my hands the evidence of the fact. Here are petitions, memorials, and remonstrances from all parts of New England, setting forth the injustice, the oppressions, the depredations, the insults, the outrages committed by Great Britain against the unoffending commerce and seamen of New England, and calling upon Congress for redress.

Sir I cannot stop to read these memorials. In that from Boston, after stating the alarming and extensive condemnation of our vessels by Great Britain, which threatened "to sweep our commerce from the face of the ocean," and "to involve our. merchants in bankruptcy," they call upon the government "to assert our rights and to adopt such measures as will support the dignity and honor of the United States."

From Salem we heard a language still more decisive; they call explicitly for "an appeal to arms," and pledge their lives and property in support of any measures which Congress might adopt. From Newburyport an appeal was made "to the firmness and justice of the government to obtain compensation and protection." It was here, I think, that, when the war was declared, it was resolved "to resist our own governnent even unto blood." (Olive Branch, p. 101.)

In other quarters the common language of that day was, that our commerce and our seamen were entitled to protection; and that it was the duty of the govermnent to afford it at every hazard. The conduct of Great Britain, we were then told was "an outrage upon our national independence." These clamors, which commenced as early as January, 1806, were continued up to 1812. In a message from the governor of one of the New England States as late as the 10th October, 1811, this language is held: "A manly and decisive course has become indispensable; a course to satisfy foreign nations, that, while we desire peace, we have the means and the spirit to repel aggression. We are false to ourselves when our commerce or our territory, is invaded with impunity."

About this time, however, a remarkable change was observable in the tone and temper of those who had been endeavoring to force the country into a war. The language of complaint was changed into that of insult, and calls for protection converted into reproaches. "Smoke,smoke!" says one writer; "my life on it, our executive have no more idea of declaring war than my grandmother. "The committee of ways and means," says another, "have come out with their Pandora's box of taxes, and yet nobody dreams of war." "Congress do not mean to declare war, they dare not." But why multiply examples? An honorable member of the other house, from the city of Boston, [Mr. Quincy,] in a speech delivered on the 3d April, 1812, says, "Neither promises, nor threats, nor asseverations, nor oaths, will make me believe that you will go to war. The navigation states are sacrificed, and the spirit and character of the country prostrated by fear and avarice."
"You cannot," said the same gentleman, on another occasion, "be kicked into a war."

Well, sir, the war at length came, and what did we behold? The very men who had been for six years clamorous for war, and for whose protection it was waged, became at once equally clamorous against it. They had received a miraculous visitation; a new light suddenly beamed upon their minds; the scales fell from their eyes, and it was discovered that the war was declared from "subserviency to France;" and that Congress, and the executive, "had sold themselves to Napoleon;" that Great Britain had in fact "done us no essential injury;" that she was "the bulwark of our religion;" that where "she took one of our ships, she protected twenty;" and that, if Great Britain had impressed a few of our seamen, it was because "she could not distinguish them from their own." And so far did this spirit extend, that a committee of the Massachusetts legislature actually fell to calculation,and discovered, to their infinite satisfaction, but to the astonishment of all the world besides, that only eleven Massachusetts sailors had ever been impressed.

Never shall l forget the appeals that had been made to the sympathies of the south in behalf of the "thousands of impressed Americans, "who had been torn from their families and friends, and "immured in the floating dungeons of Britain." The most touching pictures were drawn of the hard condition of the American sailor, " treated like a slave," forced to fight the battles of his enemy, lashed to the mast, to be shot at like a dog."

{o} {開 But, sir, the very moment we had taken up arms in their defence, it was discovered that all these were mere "fictions of the brain;" and that the whole number in the state of Massachusetts was but eleven; and that even these had been " taken by mistake." Wonderful discovery! The secretary of state had collected authentic lists of no less than six thousand impressed Americans. Lord Castlereagh himself acknowledged sixteen hundred. Calculations on the basis of the number found on board of the Guerriere, the Macedonian, the Java, and other British ships, (captured by the skill and gallantry of those heroes whose achievements are the treasured monuments of their country's glory,) fixed the number at seven thousand; and yet, it seems, Massachusetts had lost but eleven! Eleven Massachusetts sailors taken by mistake! A cause of war indeed! Their ships too, the capture of which had threatened "universal bankruptcy," it was discovered that Great Britain was their friend and protector;" where she had taken one she had protected twenty."

Then was the discovery made, that subserviency to France, hostility to commerce, "a determination, on the part of the south and west, to break down the Eastern States," and especially as reported by a committee of the Massachusetts legislature) "to force the sons of commerce to populate the wilderness," were the true cause of the war." [Olive Branch, pp. 134, 291.]

But let us look a little further into the conduct of the peace party of New England at that important crisis. Whatever difference of opinion might have existed as to the causes of the war, the country had a right to expect, that, when once involved in the contest, all America would have cordially united in its support. Sir, the war effected, in its progress, a union of all parties at the south. But not so in New England; there great efforts were made to stir up the minds of the people to oppose it. Nothing was left undone to embarrass the financial operations of the government, to prevent the enlistment of troops, to keep back the men and money of New England from the service of the Union to force the president from his seat. Yes, sir, "the Island of Elba, or a halter!" were the alternatives they presented to the excellent and venerable James Madison. Sir, the war was further opposed by openly carrying on illicit trade with the enemy, by permitting that enemy to establish herself on the very soil of Massachusetts, and by opening a free trade between Great Britain and America, with a separate custom house. Yes, sir, those who cannot endure the thought that we should insist on a free trade, in time of profound peace, could, without scruple, claim and exercise the right of carrying on a free trade with the enemy in a time of war; and finally by getting up the renowned "Hartford Convention," and preparing the way for an open resistance to the government, and a separation of the states.

Sir, if I am asked for the proof of those things, I fearlessly appeal to contemporary history, to the public documents of the country, to the recorded opinion and acts of public assemblies, to the declaration and acknowledgments, since made, of the executive and legislature of Massachusetts herself.*

Sir, the time has not been allowed me to trace this subject through, even if I had been disposed to do so. But I cannot refrain from referring one or two documents, which have fallen in my way since this debate began I read, sir, from the Olive Branch of Matthew Carey, in which are collected "the actings and doings" of the peace party of New England during the continuance of the embargo and the war. I know the senator from Massachusetts will respect the high authority of his political friend and fellow-laborer in the great cause of domestic industry."

In p. 301, et seq., 309 of this work, is a detailed account of the measures adopted in Massachusetts during the war, for the express purpose of embarrassing the financial operations of the government, by preventing loans and thereby driving our rulers from their seats, and forcing the country into a dishonorable peace. It appears that the Boston banks commenced an operation, by which a run was to be made upon all the banks to the south; at the same time stopping their own discounts; the effect of which was to produce a sudden and most alarming diminution of the circulating medium,and universal distress over the whole country -- a distress which they failed not to attribute to the "unholy war."

To such an extent was this system carried, that it appears, from a statement of the condition of the Boston banks, made up in January, 1814, that with nearly $5,000,000 of specie in their vaults, they had but $2,000,000 of bills in circulation. It is added by Carey, that at this very time an extensive trade was carried on in British government bills, for which specie was sent to Canada for the payment of the British troops, then laying waste our northern frontier; and this too at the very moment when New England ships, sailing under British licenses (a trade declared be to be lawful by the courts both of Great Britain and Massachusetts, [2nd Dodson's Admiralty Reports 48. 13th Mass. Reports, 26] ), were supplying with provisions those very armies destined for the invasion of our own shores. Sir, the author of the Olive Branch, with a holy indignation, denounces these acts as "treasonable!", "giving aid and comfort to the enemy." I shall not follow his example. But I will ask, With what justice or propriety can the south be accused of disloyalty from that quarter ? If we had any evidence that the senator from Massachusetts had admonished his brethren then, he might, with a better grace, assume the office of admonishing us now.

When I look at the measures adopted in Boston. at that day, to deprive the government of the necessary means for carrying on the war and think of the success and the consequences of these measures, I feel my pride, as an American, humbled in the dust. Hear, sir, the launguage of that day. I read from pages 301 and 302 of the Olive Branch. "Let no man who wishes to continue the war, by active means. by vote, or lending money, dare to prostrate himself at the altar on the fast day." "Will federalists subscribe to the loan ? Will they lend money to our national rulers? It is impossible. First, because of principle,and secondly, because of principal and interest." "Do not prevent the abusers of their trust from becoming bankrupt. Do not prevent them from becoming odious to the public, and being replaced by better men." "Any federalist who lends money to government must go and shake hands with James Madison, and claim fellowship with Felix Grundy." (I beg pardon of my honorable friend from Tennessee -- but he is in good company. I had thought it was "James Madison, Felix Grundy, and the devil.") Let him no more " call himself a federalist, and a friend to his country: he will be called by others infamous," &c.

Sir, the spirit of the people sunk under these appeals. Such was the effect produced by them on the public mind, that the very agents of the government (as appears from their public advertisements, now before me) could not obtain loans without a pledge that "the names of the subscribers should not be known. Here are the advertisements: "The names of all subscribers" (say Gilbert and Dean, the brokers employed by government) "shall be known only to the undersigned." As if those who came forward to aid their country, in the hour of her utmost need, were engaged in some dark and foul conspiracy, they were assured "that their names should not be known." Can any thing show more conclusively the unhappy state of public feeling which prevailed at that day than this single fact ? Of the same character with these measures was the conduct of Massachusetts in withholding her militia from the service of the United States, and devising measures for withdrawing her quota of the taxes, thereby attempting, not merely to cripple the resources of the country, but actually depriving the government (as far as depended upon her) of all the means of carrying on the war -- of the bone, and muscle, and sinews of war -- "of man and steel -- the soldier and his sword." But it seems Massachusetts was to reserve her resources for herself -- she was to defend and protect her own shores. And how was that duty performed ? In some places on the coast neutrality was declared, and the enemy was suffered to invade the soil of Massachusetts, and allowed to occupy her territory until the peace, without one effort to rescue it from his grasp. Nay, more -- while our own government and our rulers were considered as enemies, the troops of the enemy were treated like friends -- the most intimate commercial relations were established with them, and maintained up to the peace. At this dark period of our national affairs where was the senator from Massachusetts ? How were his political associates employed? "Calculating the value of the Union?"

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  For a new printing of the whole debate, and more: Webster and Hayne's celebrated speeches: in the United States Senate, on Mr. Foot's resolution of January, 1830 : also Daniel Webster's speech in the ... 7, 1850, on the slavery compromise.
  You may also be interested in: Webster-Hayne Debate: An Inquiry into the Nature of Union -- as the title implies it analyzes the debate in terms of what it says about America as a nation, vs America as a compact of the individual states from which any might withdraw, or decide to "nullify" some federal law.